In my experiences with “real life conflict” both sides believe they’re the good guy and the other person is the bad guy, so this doesn’t surprise me all that much:
If a stranger attacks you inside your own home, the law has always permitted you to defend yourself. On the other hand, if an altercation breaks out in public, the law requires you to try to retreat. At least, that’s what it used to do.
In 2005, Florida became the first of nearly two-dozen states to pass a “stand your ground” law that removed the requirement to retreat. If you felt at risk of harm in a park or on the street, you could use lethal force to defend yourself. The shooting of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., drew national attention to these laws.
Now, researchers who’ve studied the effect of the laws have found that states with a stand your ground law have more homicides than states without such laws.
Hoekstra recently decided to analyze national crime statistics to see what happens in states that pass stand your ground laws. He found the laws are having a measurable effect on the homicide rate.
“Our study finds that, that homicides go up by 7 to 9 percent in states that pass the laws, relative to states that didn’t pass the laws over the same time period,” he says.
As to whether the laws reduce crime — by creating a deterrence for criminals — he says, “we find no evidence of any deterrence effect over that same time period.”
Hoekstra obtained this result by comparing the homicide rate in states before and after they passed the laws. He also compared states with the laws to states without the laws.
Still, based on the available data, it appears that crafters of these laws sought to give good guys more latitude to defend themselves against bad guys. But what Hoekstra’s data suggest is that in real-life conflicts, both sides think of the other guy as the bad guy. Both believe the law gives them the right to shoot.
In a separate analysis of death certificates before and after stand your ground laws were passed in different states, economists at Georgia State University also found that states that passed the laws ended up with a higher homicide rate.
That study also tracked the increased homicides by race. In contrast to the narrative established by the Trayvon Martin shooting — many people believe black men are more likely to be the victims of stand your ground laws — this analysis found the additional deaths caused by the laws were largely concentrated among white men.
“The imperfect but growing evidence seems to suggest that the consequences of adopting stand your ground laws are pernicious, in that they may lead to a greater number of homicides — thus going against the notion that they are serving some sort of protective function for society,” he says.
Wow—if you legalize homocide, homocide rates will go up! Whocouldaknown?
RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist
Note that the Hoekstra in the article is not Pete Hoekstra of MI, but Mark Hoekstra of Texas A&M.
If one of the sides could make sure to wear a hoodie, it would help clear up who the bad guy is.
Too, it becomes much more difficult to determine which one is the bad guy when one of them is dead. Might be a good idea to allow the accused a chance to tell his side sometime prior to execution.
And to think paranoid gun-packing white guys are the most at risk.
Mike in NC
Last time we visited Florida our hosts were embarrassed by the idiotic “Shoot Your Guns” law, as they call it.
i believe these used to be called duels, back in the day.
@Mike in NC:
It really is “shoot first, ask questions later”. That’s accurate.
I love the marketing aspect, though. “Stand Your Ground” is godamned genius-level propaganda. Who could object to “standing your ground”?
This is all part of the right wing fixation that the human race is divided into two disjoint classes: law-abiding people and criminals.
If that were the case, then arming the law-abiders to protect them from the criminals might make sense. Unfortunately, since that is not the case, it just leads to paranoid “law-abiders” shooting anybody who looks at them funny.
@piratedan: It’s worse than dueling. Even the most belligerent Dumas character would issue a challenge and make sure the other guy was holding a weapon before shooting. Not even D’Artagnan would have attacked a Comte de Rochefort who was armed only with skittles.
Interesting! Out of curiosity I downloaded this study to see where these laws were put in place, and as you’d expect, they’re concentrated in red states: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia.
I actually just recently saw Dr. Mark Hoekstra present this paper. I have to admit, when he first went up, I took one look at him and thought, “Ok, former military guy from a Texas university…let me guess, he finds Stand Your Ground laws to be awesome.” (Seriously, the guy could’ve been cast in Black Hawk Down. If you met him on the street you’d bet he was an Army Ranger.)
It humors me to think that some wingnut out there is probably thinking, “well you can’t trust anything those elitist, liberal, latte-sipping, pansy professors say!” only to have Dr. Hoekstra show up looking like he just retired from Seal Team Six.
Anyway, as for the paper, it’s good. I bet a few microeconometricians may quibble a bit about a little thing here or there, but overall, he does very solid work. He’s a smart and thorough researcher.
Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.)
Well, as they say, there are no bad guys in foxholes. Or something.
I have to say, though, I don’t get what kind of guy–and let’s be forthright here, it’s always a guy–would choose to shoot somebody rather than back off. What’s with these guys? The first thing I’d want to do if somebody threatened me is try to get away, and if I couldn’t do that, then try to talk my way out of anything bad.
@Kay: “we don’t care about dead losers and won’t ask questions” was rejected.
@RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist:
Pete Hoekstra wouldn’t know what to do with a data-set if it jumped up and kissed him on the mouth.
It is coupled with the other right wing fixation of moral decline.
They seem to think that Hollywood and unwed mothers are making this a horrible, rotten place to live. But as has been widely noted in the past couple of days, the US crime rate has been dropping for decades, and we appear to have finally, perhaps, turned the corner on incarceration rates.
But this idea that society is morally depraved goes hand in hand with having to “defend oneself” against all manner of terrible, evil people. Even though, statistically, they’re in retreat.
Its a paranoid fantasy meant to sell: 1) guns, 2) conservative media consumption, and 3) the Republican “law and order” party.
It also helps feed their daddy fetish and get us all to accept more and more actual tyranny (torture, wiretaps, drones, etc) while pretending to oppose the tyranny of florescent lightbulbs.
@Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.): no. Please escalate as many conflicts as possible to violent conflicts. A society that doesn’t respect violent conflicts might as well give hope.
I agree completely. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of human beings here and it all goes back to soem kind of luantic authoritarian notion that there are “good people” and “bad people” rather than people who act under threat or impulse and whose impulses can always go very badly wrong.
Mr. Aimai and I were discussing the recent MJ article about lead and talking about how the idea of mass poisoning–and epidemic of brain destroying lead–might change your attitude about the propensity of youth to violent and lack of impulse control. He argued, at first, that we still “know” that young men are generally speaking more impulsive and violent than other kinds of people but the truth is what we really know after the lead study is that young people are not, in fact, terribly prone to violence because the rate of violent acts which can be defined as crimes has been going down steadily even as the population has increased and the economy has tanked. In other words: in the ordinary course of events the normal brain and good socialization prevent impulses from turning into tragedies.
Florida decided to allow impulse to turn into tragedy by insisting that even a moments reflection and retreat from a potentially irritating or dangerous situation is not required. In other words they removed the minimal social cue that even animals use to defuse situations. And they are reaping the results.
I was just down in florida and the very first article in the newspaper I saw was the shooting death of two innocent men in a convenience store. The two thieves were armed with shotguns and came in blasting–no word of warning. They shot the two customers, took the money before the clerk had time to reach for his gun under the counter, and left. The point of this is that expecting the clerk to be armed and possibly expecting the two customers to be concealed carrying they escalated a simple grab and go robbery into murder without waiting to find out if anyone was armed.
Pete Hoekstra wouldn’t know…kissed him?
Are you kidding me? He’d fuck that data until it saw stars.
@Lurking Canadian: true that… the thing is, it’s all about pride, macho, respect and not so much of the other traits like empathy or tolerance.
I’m fascinated with the whole power imbalance thing, because I do mediations. I wish they’d do more studies. What does it do to ordinary, problematic, pain in the ass human interactions/negotiations when one person is armed? What about the person who chooses to carry constantly? Do they suffer some degradation in any conflict-resolution skills they may have picked up in adult life because they have the mechanical back-up of a gun? It’s a powerful symbol, wearing a gun. Does that change the way people talk to each other? Make them less willing to compromise?
Or until they fell asleep from boredom.
No one could have predicted.
If you and I are having a disagreement, just an ordinary dispute that turns “hot” and you’re armed, how does that change my approach? Do I think I’m at some sort of disadvantage so I’m more willing to placate you, retreat, etc.? I would think it would change peoples interactions, wouldn’t you?
From the article: “The imperfect but growing evidence seems to suggest that the consequences of adopting stand your ground laws are pernicious, in that they may lead to a greater number of homicides — thus going against the notion that they are serving some sort of protective function for society,” he says.
Actually, I think that to many of these laws’ advocates, that’s not a problem at all, because they’re interested in intent and eternal identities to the exclusion of temporal outcomes. If the law makes it easier for a virtuous man to act on the manly virtues, including the refusal to submit to evil and the refusal to display shame or cowardice in the face of evil, then a few otherwise avoidable deaths are a perfectly acceptable price to pay. It’s exactly the same principle that says that it’s better to have lots of unwanted children at high risk for everything from abuse to sickness to learning disabilities to do anything that can be interpreted as condoning sexual immorality.
I think this is twisted evil itself, but it’s clearly still pretty popular in much of the country.
Doesn’t it? Unless there’s a video camera recording an altercation, it’s one guy’s word against another guy’s word. “He was threatening me!” gets you out of pretty much anything under this law. So yeah, everyone has the right to shoot.
@Zapruder F. Mashtots, D.D.S. (Mumphrey, et al.):
Exactly, as would most normal people. However, after arguing with a lot of crazy gunners (usually online) I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot of them have wet dreams of the day they get to actually pull the trigger and shoot a “bad guy.” I think they fantasize about it daily.
@Trakker: I agree, Tracker. I think it’s part and parcel of a general trend that’s been building in the Republican Party ever since they got serious about fighting the New Deal, but really crystallized under Bush and Cheney: they became the party of people who are bored of being grown-ups.
A perceived or real power imbalance definitely affects behavior.
Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin)
I think it’s too small a sample to be instructive.
In the 90’s up until 2004 the murder rate was 3-4 times the US’s.
This with low rates of gun ownership.
Isn’t this why guys walk around with guns openly strapped to their belt? They want to shift the balance of all interactions in their favor. To the average person, coming face to face with someone who has a gun on their belt is intimidating. It definitely shifts power to that person, and bullies (resulting from insecurity) love that edge.
Why don’t we stop fooling ourselves?
The game is over, over over.
No good guys…
No bad guys.
There’s no guys at all but the redneck guys.
Shooting from the windowsill, near the flowers.
Kay, I think about that all the time. I don’t do mediations but I’m very interested in the field because my original degree was in the anthropology of law. There’s no doubt in my mind that simply carrying the gun is an implied threat to all others in the vicinity. Speaking as a non gun carrier if I saw someone carrying openly in a mall or a theater I’d assume they were unstable or likely to act on impulse. The trick is that they probably don’t think of themselves as contributing to an unstable social atmosphere or affecting my experience of social space at all–like that asshole who lost his gun in the theater because he was so busy thinking that if someone else opened fire he’d “throw himself in front of the kids” and “take a bullet for them.” HE doesn’t grasp that his own actions are affecting the situation and making it less safe for everyone becuase, to get back to the original point upthread, the world is divided into “good people” with “good intentions” and bad people with bad intentions.
This came up in a much earlier thread discussion with CelticDragonChick who argued that openly carrying or losing an empty gun shouldn’t be illegal or even considered dangerous because a “gun without a bullet in it is just a piece of metal.” Sure–tell that to all the kids shot by police a few years ago because their supersoakers looked like real guns. The gun owner position is that his intentions rule the meaning of his gun or his carrying of his gun. In the real world the effect of the gun is much wider than the intentions–good or bad–of the person carrying it. The first thing it probably affects is the attitude of the gun owner towards fights and arguments making them more prone to insist on getting their own way, more prone to insist on submission from others. Whether that is because they carry the gun or because they are the kind of person who needs to carry a gun in order to feel safe (frightened, needing reassurance, egocentric, domineering, determined to enforce their own needs above those of others) or because they think its the kind of world in which other people are “bad” and out to harm them is an open question.
“It all started when he shot me back.”
I’ve heard that killing a person, even when it’s well justified, can be traumatic for the killer. That seems very plausible to me; and aside from not yearning to bring death to anyone, it’s not an experience I’d be keen to have. Them that’s actually yearning to do it, do they understand that they’re yearning for the consequences of the act as well?
I think this is right. It explains nearly everything.
Particularly if the hoodie wearer is of a non-heartlandish dusky hue.
@Schlemizel: I thought the non-heartlandish dusky hued guy was always the bad guy, whether he’s wearing a hoodie or listening to loud music in his parked vehicle.
Did George Zimmerman show much remorse after shooting a teenager to death? From my vantage point it doesn’t seem like it. It appears as though he feels sorrier for himself than the young man he shot to death.
I have trouble groking people on the right. They love to see people they hate (e.g., unionized teachers, government workers) humiliated and fired. They cheer the thought of people without health insurance dying. They have little compassion for the unemployed.
@Amir Khalid: Consequences are for other people.
Cognitive Dissonance, Reduction of. I think people are extremely practiced at “he made me do it” and the evasion of personal responsibility for many acts, not just acts of violence. And the dehumanization and devaluation of the victim, though it can start long before the shooting (as in Trayvon Martin’s case since it was the shooter’s feelings about young black men that caused him to stalk Martin in the first place) can also start right after the event. Victim blaming is incredibly common from “she was wearing a tight skirt” to “he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
@Trakker: plus, had he strangled Martin to death in self defense, no one would be chipping in to pay his legal defense team. It would not be so important to interested parties that he walks.
I am stunned to hear that more white guys are getting plugged than black guys.
As for who the bad guy is – if you get out of your car & start a fight with another person and are getting your ass handed to you it seems you have the right to pull your gatt & blast the guy who didn’t start the fight. The law only says you have to be in fear of your safety – nothing about you being stupid enough to start the fight needlessly.
Absolutely. Well said.
@Violet: It’s simple. The guy on the white horse is the good guy and the one on the black horse is the bad guy. The one dressed in white is the good guy and the one dressed in black is the bad guy.
Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin)
Do a comparison. Start with 2000, then watch a rise up to and including 2005 when SYG was enacted, then watch it drop to 2000 levels in 2011.
I’d make some crack about these laws not being all bad if they result in these idiots shooting each other into extinction, but in all seriousness that’s not a desirable outcome for reasons of basIc human decency, and the collateral damage in the meantime is unacceptable. It’s a shame — I’d like to go back to Florida and show Bottle Rocket the town where his grandma lived for a while and do other fun stuff, but this law makes me think twice about it.
I think the finding that more white guys are getting killed than white guys plugging black guys is totally unsurprising–its the homicidal version of the well known statistic that most accidents happen in and around the home/within five miles of home.
This remains an incredibly segregated society and many white people live in basically white communities. If you are carrying there, and all your neighbors are carrying, even if they think its fear of non white gangs or youths or whatever the vast majority of interactions with other people are still going to be with your own family members and with your neighbors. And those people have always pissed you off–haven’t they? You are much more likely, just stastically speaking, to shoot your own grandchild with the gun you left carelessly lying in their reach than someone else’s grandchild. You are much more likely to shoot the white guy who cuts in front of you at the Dairy Queen than some black guy in his own part of town because you are more likely to be in line behidn the white guy in DQ than behind the black guy in his own neighborhood.
@Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): I’m not certain what your asking. Since these aren’t murders under stand your ground, they aren’t going to be included in crime stats.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
@burnspbesq: “Data” takes the collective singular.
Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again)
How could you both blow a perfect set up?
That Hoekstra would stand his ground and start firing away.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
@Schlemizel: Think Clarkson might want to stop scheduling games during the MECO Cup?
But duels had rules.
This reminds me of Barry Sullivan in Forty Guns.
Tissue Thin Pseudonym
@aimai: Is “data” a masculine or feminine noun?
Always read the thread before commenting. You got there first.
It would be interesting to map the rise too. Incidents probably rose more in those sainted “oh we thought it would be so safe, we never expected it here” areas, in part because of everything you said and theres also the small numbers thing (low baseline) to make the jump more noticeable. Would drive it home for many if info not smeared all over the state.
Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin)
It’s a more compelling, scientific set of stats, than those shown. And, it gives some perspective on the issue of violent crime, as it affects that sector of society. I agree it’s not precisely on topic; just sayin’.
Villago Delenda Est
When you look at this entire phenomenon as a means of moving product (firearms and ammunition) then it makes perfect sense.
Was this information/conclusion in the article?
I know you’re interested in this as a practical matter (what to do about it) and I think most people don’t know how far it has gone.
SYG is a good example, just since 2005, and another good example is concealed carry (both OH and MI loosened regulation on concealed carry right after the CT shooting, incredibly enough). In other words, this situation isn’t static. The weapons industry doesn’t stand still. They are lobbying right now to further deregulate weapons. I think that’s a good entry/leverage point for activists. “As bad as it is NOW, it is going to get worse”. Because it is. Going to get worse.
Concealed carry has exploded since it was deregulated, and the deregulation is both recent and ongoing. I think that’s the part that activists should focus on. Beat a proposed law, and then go from there. Get a win under your belt. STOP a deregulatory action. Win one.
Villago Delenda Est
To hell with the actual, utilitarian consequences! To hell with the economic consequences! It’s not about the money or the outcomes, it’s about the principle!
Why would you assume this? Is there any empirical data or reviewed study info that leads to this assumption as being correct?
Villago Delenda Est
It’d assume it because they have to compensate for their dick size that way.
What does “deregulated” mean in this context?
@Villago Delenda Est: If aimai had stated that she would assume their was a pen!s disparity at work then I would have written it off as simply childish. But her assumption was not that in this statement.
What are women who concealed carry compensating for, in your assumption?
Thinking about it that way you are obviously right. I guess I was expecting a lot more of the sort of thing where the white guy decided to put the non-heartlandishly hued guy ‘in his place’ like that ass whining about the loud music.
It might be interesting to see white/white, white/black and black/black numbers under SYG
@Bruce Baugh: Plus it’s cheaper for the state to house a dead guy in a morgue than a prisoner in a jail. If the “victim” kills the “criminal”, it saves the state a bucket of cash.
Villago Delenda Est
They’ve been terrorized by firearms merchants into believing that it will protect them.
It will not.
There was a drugstore in a tougher part of town here that got news when the owner chased a robber out with his gun. About 2 weeks later a robber walked in & shot the owner dead without a word, told the customer to lay on the floor while he emptied the till & took some drugs.
The owner having a gun cost him his life.
If I were armed & I thought there was any chance you were also I would want to make sure I shot first if it got to the point that might happen. No good having the damn thing if you don’t have it out & in action before the other guy.
My guess would be that SYG increases the chances of someone getting shot because you have to assume the other guy is carrying so you have to escalate before him.
@Corner Stone: From the people I have known who want to carry a concealed weapon (maybe five – so I know there is no statistical relevance), the primary motivator seems to be irrational fear. They live in safe towns and have jobs that do not involve dangerous situations, but they believe that they are in danger and the gun will keep them safe. It is almost a talisman. I have to say that I would not trust them to react well in an actual emergency. Are these people typical of concealed carry fans? I don’t know.
That’s my interpretation. The Clerk survived–he had a gun under the counter but was too startled to reach it in time and simply ended up cowereing. He himself was surprised that they walked in and shot the two customers, two middle aged guys, without any warning. He was expecting something more like on TV where the shooters, who had robbed other convenience stores without hurting anyone, would kind of give everyone a warning. They got away with 100 dollars. Two people killed. Store shot up.
I’d suggest that this is a possibility, but not a certainty. What conclusion should we reach for all the armed robberies where the proprietor/clerk does not get automatically shot upon entry?
We should assume that the robber did not expect to get shot while robbing the place. This guy knew he was going in against an armed owner who had shot at a previous robber.
You might assume he would have shot the owner even if he didn’t assume he was armed except that is very uncommon and he didn’t shoot the customer. I think the owner ran into someone ‘badder’ who intentionally picked this guy to prove how bad he was and desperate enough that he probably had robbed other places. But note that he had not killed other victims.
I didn’t bring up genitals, someone else did. I don’t happen to frequent any place where a state of open warfare exists and I don’t have any personal enemies targeting me. A person shopping in a mall where I am shopping, or taking their children to a movie theater where I am taking my children, has no more risk of needing a gun than I have myself. Therefore a person who is carrying or openly carrying is either being stalked by someone (I’d assume that could be the case) and recklessly endangering all the rest of us or is delusional about the dangers they face in a public space in a well regulated society. That should be obvious. The number of shoot outs in this country that are criminals shooting civilians/regular citizens is quite small and would be smaller if guns were not freely available. The number of people killing themselves with their own guns is quite high (44 percent is the number I saw). The number of violent crimes that are interrupted by a bystander carrying a gun? Negligible. So vanishingly small that the NRA has to trumpet each one of them on the order of “sun rises in the west.”
@Schlemizel: IMO, I believe this over reaches as a basis for making conclusions.
And I believe it is the case that murder in the commission of a felony ratchets up potential penalty, and so one death or four makes no difference (in that regard).
@Corner Stone: I’d assume the same thing as aimai, on the basis of the very simple question of what kind of person would deem it necessary to bring a gun to a shopping mall.
I’m in moderation, let me try again:
I don’t happen to frequent any place where a state of open warfare exists and I don’t have any personal enemies targeting me. A person shopping in a mall where I am shopping, or taking their children to a movie theater where I am taking my children, has no more risk of needing a gun than I have myself. Therefore a person who is carrying or openly carrying is either being stalked by someone (I’d assume that could be the case) and recklessly endangering all the rest of us or is delusional about the dangers they face in a public space in a well regulated society. That should be obvious. The number of shoot outs in this country that are criminals shooting civilians/regular citizens is quite small and would be smaller if guns were not freely available. The number of people killing themselves with their own guns is quite high (44 percent is the number I saw). The number of violent crimes that are interrupted by a bystander carrying a gun? Negligible. So vanishingly small that the NRA has to trumpet each one of them on the order of “sun rises in the west.”
Ok, fine. Speaking anecdotally, we have at least one well publicized case of a CCL person making a rational decision under extreme stress. In the Gabby Gifford’s shooting there was an armed individual who made a clear choice not to draw and fire in the melee.
A lot of thought provoking comments here about mediation and stand your ground laws.
Another bit about anger and impulse are the sad news stories I read about arguments breaking out at parties, and a guy who feels that he has been humiliated in front of people going home and returning with a gun. Here, you would think that the guy would have an opportunity to reflect, to calm down, but instead there may be a focus on the idea that he has on that object at home, that gun, that will make all things better.
And maybe part of the stand your ground insanity is that it lulls people into thinking that they don’t have to consider all the ways that a confrontation can be avoided or defused, but to focus instead on a fantasy trial by combat that they think they will win.
I’d assume the robbers took the chance that once they pulled their guns an armed clerk wouldn’t be able to get his firearm and shoot before getting shot.
But as more citizens carry concealed weapons, wouldn’t the logical response by criminals be to shoot first and avoid any chance of being shot or caught? I just don’t see that concealed carry laws help much. I certainly haven’t seen an increase of stories about citizens thwarting robberies or stopping mass shootings, etc., in fact the whole statistic about 2.5 million cases a year where a gun stops a crime seems hugely bogus to me.
@Corner Stone: He did draw, and almost fired, by his own admission. Yes, at the last instant he made the right choice, but how comfortable can any sane person be with that kind of margin between safety and disaster?
I understand that you’re trying to be the contrarian here, but your efforts are falling flat because you have so little to work with. How can you credibly sell the idea of a less stable and more violent society?
@Corner Stone: Interestingly, his decision was not to shoot. This could be done just as easily by an unarmed person. Fundamentally, I can think of very few situations in modern society that can be improved by adding more firearms and a huge number that can be improved by decreasing the number of firearms.
I am not, by any means, opposed to gun ownership. I do think that concealed carry, for all but a handful of people, is unnecessary and potentially dangerous.
Villago Delenda Est
The entire “Stand your ground” thing strikes me a lot like Germany, in 1939, complaining that Poland was “threatening” them.
So they shot first. And plundered later.
It’s the “Bush doctrine” on the domestic front. The other guy might have a gun, so shoot first, ask questions later, because I am the good guy here.
I heard a libertarian/winger guy once who thought it was “evil” that a store owner had forgiven a 14-year-old boy who had held him up at gunpoint. The store owner became the boy’s mentor and got the kid turned around, the kid graduated from high school and had gone on to college. The winger guy thought that was terrible: what should have happened is that the kid should have been punished horribly and should even now be rotting in jail being miserable.
It’s like Calvin and Mani got together and had ignorant spawn.
The guy with the gun has the right to shoot. The one without has the right to die.
This does not seem right.
Man, that takes the cake for chutzpah to cite the case of a guy who didn’t fire as proof that people with ccp can be trusted to know when not to fire or what to do when they do fire. Not only did that particular person show becoming humility but he did so just before he accidentally shot the wrong person. HIs own testimony wasn’t that he calmly figured out that it was too dangerous to shoot but that he was on the verge of shooting someone who he thought was the shooter–in reality a bystander–and then didn’t. THe difference between poor judgement/murder and good judgement was split second and luck.
And the result is functionally the same as if he had not been carrying. So why did he need the gun? Didn’t help him. Didn’t use it. Decided it would make things worse. Why even have it in the first place?
I applaud this comment. Very insightful. It also reminds me of a well known expression in the domestic violence field “Men are afraid women will laugh at them. Women are afraid men will kill them.” For some personalities humiliation or perceived humiliation is an intolerable form of social death. Throwing a gun into the mix just makes it possible for an angry, hurt, person with a feeling of victimization to “even the score.” We can’t know how many guys storm out of parties humiliated, go home and sleep it off or shrug it off so we can’t be sure (a la Cornerstone contrarianism) that the easy availability of lethal force makes a difference in these impulsive crimes of passion and honor but, again, the recent study on lead and overall levels of violence should remind us that at a societal level reducing the overall window of opportunity for poor impulse control to result in lethal violence is probably very important.
If that isn’t clear what I mean to say is that if you have a population of X number of people some subset is always going to have poor impulse control, fear, anxiety, and a propensity towards violence rather than negotiation or acceptance. What you do with that population–how hard you make it for them to act out, what barriers you put in place to slow down a fast moving disaster, is going to determine how many angry impulses get turned into a “whoops! I didn’t mean to actually kill someone!”
@Amir Khalid: I’ve spoken of it many times now, but our son’s good friend was shot to death by an ex-housemate, who was subsequently found Not Guilty. The shooter definitely had a tenuous connection to reality and I believe focused his paranoia on to one person: the deceased. He had been heard threatening to kill him “if he ever sets foot on this property again.”
Now, the friend stopped at the house on a whim, which was a terrible choice. Another housemate allowed him to enter the home, the shooter then came from his own room to find him inside the house, and shot him in the arm, then shot him again, in the back, as our friend was turned to exit the front door. His spine was severed, he was bleeding out, and they moved him outside. And waited about 9 minutes to call 911.
The killer had longed for this moment, I believe. Had imagined it, the way he imagined our friend believed himself to be an all-powerful god. And now he had slain him, and proven he was not a god. This was some of the discussion he had with the investigating detective.
Nevertheless, poor prep by the DA allowed a jury to find our friend’s murderer Not Guilty. Our friend was unarmed. He was not making threats to his killer. Our friend was calling 911 himself, to report damage/theft of property he still had at the house.
We never got to hear his side of it. Even here in NYS, juries will excuse taking someone’s life because they are in your home. This was such a stupid fucking waste of a life. I don’t think I will ever be able to set aside my anger at the murderer, and I do believe there was an intent on his part to “make this problem disappear.”
SYG makes it all that much easier to get away with murder.
Checking in; this looks like a great discussion; catching up with you now.
FWIW, here’s a NYTimes article by a physician/reporter who’s traveled in Latin America:
More Guns = More Killing
Why do we have to learn things the hard way?
Sorry, this does not necessarily follow at all. There are too many news stories about unarmed shop keepers being killed by armed robbers.
Perversely, what might have led to the store owner’s death here was his defiance, his refusal to back down. Had he chased the first robber with a bat, there might still have been a tragic outcome later.
The brother of someone I know, a barber, was robbed one morning as he was about to open the door to his shop. The robber had likely observed the man’s routine and knew when he would be alone and have some money with him. He shot him in the back of the head, possibly because he did not want to waste time demanding money and did not want to give his victim any opportunity to resist or fight back, and certainly no opportunity to identify him later The murdered man did not carry a gun.
I’m not being a contrarian and am not selling any ideas except possibly the application of a little more rigor applied to assumptions/conclusions.
I find over the stretch of multiple gun related threads here (and many that weren’t gun but went gun quickly), that a significant pocket of commenters are just as addled as the “gun nuts”. To be sure, gun related deaths and/or gun violence is awful and should cause some intense debate, reflection, motivation, etc. But IMO, there’s a defeat of reason being applied in this argument. And just as adamant as the insane Wayne LaPierre appears to be, some commenters here are displaying a bias or prejudice that, IMO, defies logical thinking.
Is there a category of people who are just as nuts in an anti view as the gun nuts are in their pro view?
Because that’s what it feels like over a stretch of time here.
So to recap, I’m not selling an idea except IMO I believe there’s value in not working off a faulty basis constructed with sweeping assumptions and/or conclusions from facts not in evidence.
If 100% of the commenters and lurkers at BJ are for doing away with all concealed carry laws then I say more power to them. Go forth and make arguments based on something more than faulty assumptions not backed by evidence.
@aimai: I find it quite reasonable that in at least that one specific case, it refutes your broad assumption that anyone with a gun is unstable and a threat to society.
He made a decision to not fire when if he was your unfounded caricature he would have blasted everyone moving around him.
@Elizabelle: I think that many of the concealed carry zealots do believe that society has broken down. They feel that they are in danger everywhere and only their weapon and steely nerves will keep them and theirs safe from the bands of marauding orcs or whatever that are going to appear any second now just you wait and see. Now, in my opinion, their nerves are anything but steely and they more than many others are actually contributing to the breakdown of society that they fear, but I am just a latte drinking, Saab driving liberal wussy so what do I know.
Some states required retreat even in one’s home. So many so, in fact, that the opposite rule became identified as the castle doctrine IIRC.
@Violet: I can’t speak to why he felt he needed the gun. That really has nothing to do with the point Omnes and I were discussing.
He had a weapon, he had an ongoing situation, he made a decision based on a rational evaluation under stress.
Or maybe he was really too scared to pull the trigger. Either way, since we were using anecdotes anyway, that anecdote is as valid as the generalization Omnes mentioned.
@Corner Stone: Again, in my view, you are right that some individuals will make good decisions. I, however, remain unconvinced that this fact makes makes introducing more guns into the public sphere has any net benefit. I strongly suspect, but cannot prove, that the opposite case holds.
Given that the author of that piece was so poorly informed, it’s probably pointless to give much consideration to the post, but this caught my eye:
Does that mean that the 7-9% increase was due to people “standing their ground”? If not what is the point of that statistic.
If so, then the question is whether or not those additional homicides were justified under the law. If they were, then it seems like a good thing to the extent that it represent people defending themselves against attack.
@whidby: What is your objection to the tradition self-defense notion of a duty to retreat if one can safely do so? Shouldn’t one avoid taking another life if possible?
YOu are such a terminal ass hole, you really can’t help yourself. I do consider people carrying openly in places such as my neighborhood, the malls I frequent, or any movie houses I would go to clearly unstable and foolish people–why? Because those places are both safe and crowded. Any one choosing to shoot there would be 1) highly unusual and 2) if someone were to arrogate to themselves the police power and shoot back they would be extremely likely to accidentally kill innocent bystanders. This was true in the Aurora shooting. There is not only no evidence that anyone else carrying a gun could have shot the shooter (in a darkened theater full of panicked people) but all signs point towards even more mass death as the result of anyone choosing to imagine that they could put the shooter down with their own weapon.
So I’m not wrong in my beliefs: a person who, against all obvious evidence that their weapon is unnecessary and extremely likely to escalate any situation is probably delusional, arrogant, and unstable in a social sense. Normal people don’t fantasize that they are going to be attacked when they aren’t and normal people don’t fantasize that they are heroic and absent their intervention lots of people will be killed.
At any rate these are my beliefs, well grounded in reality. Yours are no more well founded than mine and as far as I can see, despite your throwing around lots of words far less well grounded in reality.
@Corner Stone: It’s hard to have enough data points for mass shootings and the number of conceal carry people present who made good decisions, since the shootings are random, fortunately not happening every day, and the CC folks may or may not speak up about being there, making a decision, etc. That’s why this guy’s experience is so interesting.
His decision not to shoot because it was chaos and he wasn’t sure who he was shooting is exactly the kind of situation anti-gun people say would happen. I’m very glad he made the right decision, but the outcome of him not shooting anyone would ALSO have happened if he’d not had a gun to being with. No need to think about whether or not to use the gun, did he have the right guy, etc. Same outcome: no one gets shot by him.
People supporting the carry laws say in his situation people with guns could have shot the shooter. But the evidence we have–anecdotal, of course, but like I said above, it’s hard to get enough data on such things–shows that no, it’s not that easy. It’s chaos, you don’t know who is who, and it’s really easy to shoot the wrong person.
So, anecdote, yes, but one that certainly doesn’t show that carrying a gun helps in those types of situations.
@Omnes Omnibus: Depends how you define “if possible”. And if you are being physically attacked, you may not have the luxury of considering the possibilities.
He controlled for that. He looked for an increase in justifiable homicides. There was none.
Gun owners don’t determine what’s justifiable. Courts do.
@whidby: The traditional legal notion of self-defense permits one to take a life in defense of one’s self or others, but it mandates that one must retreat if one safely can. If one is being attacked and does not have time to look for escape routes, then retreat isn’t really possible, is it? It is a fairly common sense position and has tended to be applied by courts in a very common sense way.
So, back to my question, what is the problem with requiring someone to retreat if they can safely do so before taking a life? SYG laws remove that requirement; what is the benefit?
I don’t understand your point. Is he saying that there was a 7-9% increase in the homicide rate solely attributable to people who shot other people in “stand your ground” situations where the shootings were found not to be justifiable?
The blah guy won’t get away with it, the white guy will. Seems to work perfectly for a race quickly approaching minority status.
I think the weirdest thing about the Pro-Concealed Carry/Open Carry position is that it requires you to simultaneously believe that a majority of your friends, neighbors, and strangers are dangerous lunatics, waiting at every moment to attack you and also to believe that those same friends, neighbors, and strangers either don’t have access to weapons and/or suddenly become rational, sober, thoughtful, men and women of caution at the same time that they are choosing to arm themselves against you.
I have a fairly consistent view of humanity. People are variously dangerous and civilized, impulsive and cautious, able to handle emotional conflict and unable to do so. Arming former group is dangerous because they are dangerous. Arming the latter group is unnecessary because they choose to have the police function performed by trained police and prefer to try to organize society so that dangerous situations are defused before they become terminal–something which is best done in a global way rather than at the point of a gun.
@Yutsano: I was thinking that it was more people get to shoot people. Not really a benefit from my POV, but mileage varies.
No. You’re looking at it backward. He EXCLUDED the situation SRG was ( supposedly) designed for. That’ s what self-defense is, legally. It’s justifiable homicide however that is defined.
@Omnes Omnibus: If the person is safe to retreat, then I don’t see how they can justify any self-defense claims.
This is one of the reasons why the whole Zimmerman/Martin affair was so vexing. _If_ Zimmerman’s story that he was attacked without provocation and then was having his head slammed into the concrete is true, then he would have been justified in using deadly force even absent the “stand your ground” laws. Yet the debate immediately centered on SYG laws.
@aimai: Normal people don’t find themselves in a town hall meeting in AZ? A mall in Oregon? A movie theater in Anytown, USA?
I’ve done my level best to be civil with you, which I’m not exactly known for, but you are quite simply off your fucking nut. You’re a loon.
There are millions of CCL individuals in the US. If they comported to your twisted view of reality we’d have a shootout every time a clerk refused to honor a clothing return at Old Navy.
Get a fucking grip you clown. Or show data backing your reality, which you simply can not. You can’t. Or you would have by now. Shut me up by citing it.
@kay: Kay – he reports an “additional” 600 homicides per year across teh 21 states that have enacted extended castle or SYG laws. The thing I could not discern was whether he was asserting that each of these 600 additional homicides occurred in a SYG context.
It would seem so since he states: “A critical question is whether all the additional homicides that were reported as murders or non-negligent manslaughters could have been legally justified.”
It doesn’t have to be mass shootings, and really that anecdote is remarkable because of the notoriety. It’s kind of subsequent to my point, actually.
Millions of people CCL every day across the nation and never manage to lose their shit and kill people around them at the mall. And no one, anywhere in these threads to my knowledge, has ever cited data that indicates people who have a CCL are more likely to commit unjustified acts of violence than anyone else.
But with the wave of a reality wand, those people as a whole are the worst people on earth and veritable delusionally arrogant timebombs just waiting for a cafeteria lady to short change them at Luby’s.
They go to bed dreaming of confronting Shirley over that $1.10 discrepancy.
This eventhough Zimmerman was the aggressor from the get-go? Nothing would have happened if Zimmerman had left Martin alone. Based on your reasoning anybody can now provoke anybody to a fight and if you feel a bit threatened by the person you provoked, just shoot them. Insane!
Can you imagine the outcry from people like you if the roles had been reversed, ie the black guy had provoked Zimmerman and then when Zimmerman justifiably fought back, the black guy shot Zimmerman. I seriously doubt anybody from FoxNews, you etc would defend the shooter.
Why couldn’t just Zimmerman have obeyed the 911 operator to start with?
@Corner Stone: Yes. People who engage in concealed carry _without_ a permit are the ones to be most worried about.
@Paul: Did you notice the “_if_”?
IIRC Zimmerman said that he had stopped his pickup to get out to look for a house number after losing sight of Martin and had turned and was walking back to his truck when Martin approached him they exchanged words then Martin hit him from behind, knocked him to the ground, and started pounding his head into the ground. If you call that “provoking someone into a fight” then I guess we view provocation differently.
Of course, that is Zimmerman’s version. I don’t know what happened and neither do you.
Because Martin is dead.
Wow! Just wow! Your answer is a perfect illustration if why SYG laws are insane. Hell, just shoot the guy you provoked and he can longer provide any type of witness account against you.
I used the version based on the evidence, witnesses etc from the police report, which I would trust a hell of a lot more than Zimmerman. Hell, he lied on his bail hearing.
@gogol’s wife: That’s [email protected]Paul: Wow, indeed. Given the fact that exactly what happened that night is clear to all right-thinking unbiased persons like yourself, I trust you’ll agree there is no need for a trial on these matters?
I don’t think I said they did or were. But neither are there a lot of data points showing that people who are carrying are, in statistically significant numbers, using those concealed weapons to stop crimes or kill shooters. And data does show that when and where there are guns, deaths and injuries from guns is higher. So if they CCL folks are not using their guns, and not stopping crimes, except for the occasional anecdotal example, then they aren’t helping situations by carrying. In fact, statistically speaking, they are increasing the likelihood of more injuries and deaths.
Normal people don’t go armed to a townhall meeting ANYWHERE. If you seriously thought you might be jumped and shot at a town hall meeting you’d either avoid it or you would call the cops to make sure that no one was carrying. If you are carrying because you are too nervous to speak your mind in a public political setting without a gun to fondle you are by definition some kind of fearful, asshole, lunatic who doesn’t belong in polite civil society because you can’t handle the first responsibility of civil society which is holding a civil discourse without threatening to clap a gun to the head of people who disagree with you.
Of course there are places in the US where majority behavior has become so twisted by NRA propaganda and the hysterical cowardice of some people that the laws have been changed to permit various forms of weapons carrying into public spaces and even into town halls. That doesn’t make it a good idea–but you are blind to the fact that many people would be inhibited to speak their minds when they discover that their angry neighbors and hysterical gun nuts are going to be going strapped into a public debate.
Your posts are so childish and moronic that they actually almost make me laugh. I try to imagine any sane debating society permitting debate with each of the debate team carrying larger and larger weapons and slapping them down on the podium before starting the discussion. Do you not see how absurd it is to argue that citizens should be required by circumstance and the hysteria of their fellow citizens to appear armed in a political discussion or a public space for fear of other people being armed in a political discussion or a public space? We are in an arms race fostered by corrupt gun manufacturing corporations and spurred on by assholes like you which is poisoning our public sphere and making it uninhabitable by normal, law abiding, peaceful citizens. Yes: you are definitionally aberrant.
@whidby: Well, stand your ground laws basically remove the duty to retreat. You can stand your ground. N’est-ce pas?
That’s funny considering gun defenders like yourself never even wanted Zimmerman arrested. Hell, it took big demonstrations and public outrage to even get the police interested. The police thought because of the insane SYG law that they could never even get Zimmerman indicted.
Unbiased? Yes, again that’s funny coming from your side of the aisle.
Thank you. Now he’ll say you’re hysterical because that’s his idea of argumentation.
@aimai: Again, I ask you to provide any data, cite any data backing your “reality” and you are unable to.
Your unhinged diatribe is almost entirely irrelevant to anything I’ve stated or asked here. I haven’t made the argument you ask me to defend so I will not attempt to.
You’ve classified an entire category of people as any number of demeaning adjectives but after repeated requests you have no data to back any of your assumptions up.
@gogol’s wife: I’ve asked for rational data, repeatedly. It’s been refused. That apparently is her style of argumentation.
@Corner Stone: I would assume that because carrying a firearm makes someone infinitely more dangerous. I would do anything to shun and avoid such people.
Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin)
She’s already said that Seniors need to take a mental health test (whatever that would be) before they can be allowed to own a weapon. People who own guns are evil.
More dangerous than who? More dangerous to whom?
If you are considering the population of legal CCL’s then this assumption is untrue as no data backs it up, in any way that anyone here has been able to prove.
If you want to conflate the entire population of gun owners, or consider people who illegally carry a gun then that’s a different argument.
I edited the opening a little.
Make them less willing to compromise?
Yes. Yes it does.
And why should they compromise? They have a gun, they have The Power. And in their pea brains they have the will, skill and desire to use it. I wonder how many people who concealed carry have been victims of bullies? And that doesn’t have to be only as kids. Many of us have worked for bullies, they are all around us. That certainly could cloud one’s outlook.
I had a friend who was a cop and had to shoot a man with a knife who had knocked him down and was attacking him. As far as I can tell this is what we used to call a real stand up dude. And he was really affected by this. His intellect tells him he had to to it but his emotions and experience told him it was wrong. That’s a serious internal conflict that can be hard to live with. He has to learn to accept that his job sometimes puts him in this position, not to like it but to contemplate if he could have handled the situation differently or if this conflict is the price he pays for doing this work.
Don’t let your purse get the drop on you.
Another gun story out of the Republic of Crazy.
Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin)
Don’t forget Tubslime.….
@Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin): aimai is a perfect exemplar of the unhinged moron on this broad category issue.
She feeeeeeels things which then must be true across a spectrum because she knows they are true from her experiential “knowledge”.
She gets to slag millions of people and then fail when called out for data backup.
In other words, she’s the female version of President Stuck.
Machine-Gun Preacher (formerly Ben Franklin)
The youngsters are convinced of their rectitude. May the gods deliver us from the super-righteous.
@Corner Stone: Don’t you get it, anyone walking around with a gun is a ticking time bomb, I tells ya! Just looking for the slightest excuse to kill someone !!!
@whidby: If aimai were correct about her baseless and fact-free assumptions then we’d clearly have thousands upon thousands of shootings a day.
But she has no factual basis to make the assertions she does. Doesn’t stop her though, in thread after thread after thread.
Hell, in the mid-1980s in Iredell County, NC, I covered a case in which a deliveryman at a store was attacked by two drunken brothers. He exercised his duty to retreat right up onto the hood of his truck before firing, killing one drunken redneck asshole and permanently paralyzing the other. All the guy was doing was delivering cigarettes or candy or whatnot to a convenience store, first thing in the morning, while these redneck fucks had been up all night drinking and, by their own admission, looking for trouble.
Our “gunman” was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and did actual hard time for it.
This country doesn’t even run by the rule of law, so don’t nobody go looking beyond that for justice. It ain’t there.